Is Thanksgiving disrespectful to Native Americans?

Is Thanksgiving disrespectful to Native Americans?

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On Thanksgiving, we commemorate the Pilgrims and Native Americans coming together to break bread—at least, that's the story most of us learned in school. Many say the Thanksgiving story is dishonest about American history and whitewashes the displacement and genocide Native Americans suffered as a result of colonial invaders. Others see Thanksgiving as just a way to share food and gratitude with family and friends. Is the holiday disrespectful to the First Americans? 🦃 🌽 🦃  

The Votes Are In!

Many argue you can be honest about America's history and still celebrate Thanksgiving—the holiday has evolved into a day where we focus on gratitude. Can you practice being grateful for what you have while still acknowledging the realities of American history?

Entitled "Everything You Know About Thanksgiving is WRONG," this MTV video tries to set the record straight about what really happened—but it's a tough sell. Most Americans are really attached to the beauty of the Thanksgiving story, and don't want to think of it as a whitewashed myth.

Others just don't celebrate it. White Europeans successfully colonizing America is not cause for celebration for all peoples.

Other Americans don't think that much about the history behind it. For many, Thanksgiving is just a great day where we get to cook and eat with our families, think about what we're grateful for, maybe watch some football. The historical context matters less than the tradition of family and the personal meaning people attach to the holiday.

Others suggest adding positive meeting to a holiday with a controversial history by reaching out and giving to others. Volunteer at a soup kitchen. Donate to a Native American organization. Educate yourself about our country's history. Be the change, people!

The traditional grade school pageant where half the kids dress as pilgrims and half dress as Indians? Think about how Native Americans might see that as colonialist cosplay.

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